With a new year upon us, we all make resolutions: losing weight, getting a better job, keeping a positive attitude, etc.

Focusing on what makes someone attractive to an employer, I remember coming across a New York Times article from last spring citing a CEO from a manufacturing company. She was looking for tenacity, focus, and organization; a young person with energy, who treats other people well, and who is a team player. When she interviews potential candidates she also focuses on the path these people took before they knocked on her company’s door. Do they have a plan? Who mentored them before and what was the mentor’s area of expertise.

What can we learn from this article and does it apply to lawyers and support staff?

Analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Look at what opportunities are available to you and the threats that can affect your participation in your chosen field of work. Develop a long term goal and outline the path to get you there. Every step you take in the professional world will be recorded for posterity, as every employer will evaluate whether you fit into their world. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across a mentor who will help you grow in the work environment by putting you in jobs that are bigger than you are. Then you can take the next step toward your goals.